On the opening day of the Catawba Tournament, the West Chester University Golden Rams softball team came away with a season opening 10-9 victory over Catawba. Junior catcher Kate Kmiecinski hit a walk-off two-run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to help West Chester come away with the victory.The Golden Rams (3-2) jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the second inning of play. Senior first baseman Megan Harbaugh hit a solo homerun to open up the scoring in the second inning.
Junior outfielder Erin MacNamee hit a double to centerfield to clear the bases as Stef Kerbacher, Kelsey Rapp and Missy Schwartz all scored on the hit. Sam Ingersoll than hit a two-run homerun two batters later to extend the lead and finish off the scoring for West Chester in the inning.
In the top of the third inning, Catawba chipped away at the West Chester lead. Carly Sabat got things started with a single. She scored two batters later after Kathryn Geouge doubled to right centerfield. Allie Marshall followed Geouge with a two-run homerun to right field to make it 7-3 after the third inning.
In the top of the fifth inning, Tara Gibbs got Catawba on the board once again as she roped a single to right field and Geouge scored her second run of the game.
Catawba tied in the game in the top of the seventh inning as Katie Huggins hit a pinch hit three-run homerun scoring Kristyn Funderburke, Marshall and Mollie Jovalcin. In the eighth inning, Catawba gained their first lead of the game after Amanda Terry hit a two-run homerun, which scored Jovalcin.
In the bottom of the eighth, West Chester was able to get back on the board as Harbaugh drove in MacNamee and Kmiecinski hit the game-winning homerun to give the Golden Rams the 10-9 win.
Junior pitcher Brooke Muth, who had been lifted for a reliever earlier in the game, returned to the circle and picked up the win for West Chester.
In the second game of the day on Friday, sophomore pitcher Samantha Soprano picked up her first win of the season for West Chester as they defeated Davis & Elkins 5-2.
After picking up the victory in the opening game, Muth scored two runs to help the Golden Rams pick up their second win of the day.
On Saturday, West Chester fell to Lenior-Rhyne 7-4 in the first of three games on the day. In the second game of the afternoon, the Golden Rams defeated Glenville State 9-8 in eight innings to finish the round-robin portion of the tournament. In the elimination round, West Chester fell to Glenville State 10-7 to end their weekend at the Catawba Tournament.
The Golden Rams get back to action this week as they travel to face Chowan in North Carolina on Friday in a doubleheader. West Chester then travels to Florida over spring break to play 10 games in a five day span.
The Golden Rams plays their first home game of the 2010 season on March 15 against Bowie State beginning at 2 p.m. before opening up PSAC East play on March 18 against Kutztown University.
LJ Harrell is a fourth-year student majoring in Marketing. He can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.